DRAPER — For all intents and purposes, Rowland Hall knew the Region 17 title was up for grabs on Wednesday night. With a two-game cushion already in the league standings, it knew a win at second-place Draper APA would realistically seal the title.
Coach Zack Alvidrez also knew the win wouldn’t come easy against a hungry and motivated Draper squad.
“Anytime you play anywhere on the road in this region it’s a hard place to win,” said Alvidrez.
From the outset, however, Rowland Hall looked like the more comfortable team. Trailing just once the entire game, the Winged Lion pulled away with a dominant second half as it rolled to the 63-39 win.
Leading by five midway through the third quarter, Rowland Hall closed the quarter on a 12-4 run to extend the lead to 43-30 — a run that was fueled by stifling defense.
“It was huge. That took us from a close game and opened it up and allowed us to be even more aggressive. When we’re allowed to be aggressive, especially defensively, we’re tough to handle,” said Alvidrez, whose team improved to 7-0 in the region standings with the win.
Rowland Hall outscored Draper APA 40-21 after halftime.
Isaiah Adams led the way for Rowland Hall with 22 points, with 14 of those points coming in the second half.
“When Isaiah is active he is very good, and tonight in the second half he was very active. He got easy looks, he got out in transition. I can play him up on the press,” said Alvidrez. “He’s basically a long guard; unfortunately, in high school basketball he’s labeled as a post player because he’s 6’6".”Comment on this story
He scored eight straight points for Rowland Hall during the decisive stretch in the third quarter, including a breakaway hammer dunk that came after one of several steals by Trey Provost.
“Our tenacity on the defensive side has definitely been our staple all year,” said Alvidrez.
Tyson Chow scored 12 points in the loss for Draper APA, which shot just 29 percent from the field.